Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Paris
Everyone wants something different on their trip to Paris, but I think most people like being in a quintessential Paris neighborhood — a place where you can buy fresh baguettes and marvel at the wrought-iron balconies.
Paris continues to intrigue me and now, I’ve visited this city a half-dozen times. Each visit I pick two or three different places to stay. Now, I feel comfort with each of the different neighborhoods to offer some recommendations. Some of the benefits of staying in each and what to avoid to make your first or next trip to Paris special.
Paris, is a city divided into 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods). These arrondissements are numbered in a spiral manner with the center beginning Ile de la Cité, the island in the Seine home to Notre-Dame. A Parisian will refer arrondissements by their numbers and these arrondissements go from lower to higher starting from the center; the 12-20th arrondissements are the outer edge of the spiral or from the city’s center.
The Marais (3rd/4th Arrondissement)-Best Overall
The Marais, is my top choice of neighborhoods to stay in Paris. The reason being is of its central location to several great attractions such as the Centre Pompidou and the Hotel de Ville. Restaurants and cafe abound in this neighbor. For the shoppers, you will a variety of options from boutique to high-end luxury. Don’t forget to explore the local fresh markets.
A cultural mix exists in the community LGBT, locales, and a Jewish community.
L’île Saint-Louis (4th Arrondissement)- Coming in second
This neighborhood will be my next stay in Paris for later this year. Cat is out of the bag… everyone. If you are looking to be in the heart of it all, look no further than L’île Saint-Louis in the 4th arrondissement. Sometimes it feels like you are in a different part of France and not Paris, even is it next to the very crowded Ile de la Cité and the crowds visiting the wonderful site of the Notre-Dame
St. Germain (6th Arrondissement)
On the left bank of Paris, you can find my third favorite neighborhood to explore-St. Germain. You can also explore others here including Camus and Sartre. Why is this a good choice? The neighborhood has established cafes, some interesting shops, and very lively streets. It is close to Notre Dame, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and the Musée d’Orsay.
Where to Stay in Paris: Hotels, Apartments, Hostels
In deciding your first or next visit to Paris, should you stay in a hotel, rental, or hostel? In a city as popular as Paris, there are plenty of options to explore. So, check out them out by clicking here
Hotels are often one of my first options when deciding on a trip as these have the perks we all desire such as free wi-fi, breakfast, a 24/7 reception desk, in-room services, and the list goes on and on depending on the star and price. Keep in mind that you will have a more formal and often what Americans consider unfriendly customer service from the French. This is par for the course during any visit to Paris.
I can attest to only one apartment rental in Paris. It was an okay experience, but have some wonderful experiences in other cities. You do get a better feel for local living and some of the same amenities offered in a hotel, if you look just right with a Parisian Apartment. Check them out here.
Personally, I am not a fan of hostels as I like to have my own bathroom. For the budget conscious traveler who doesn’t mind sharing and being a bit more adventurous, hostels could be a good choice and you can find great prices and reviews on by clicking here
Travel Insurance: My Recommendation–Don’t Go Without It.
I still read articles and here that many people feel that travel insurance is an unnecessary expense. I couldn’t not disagree more and can say that having travel insurance as a backup has come in handy a few times both before a trip and during to avoid the hassle of unnecessary and expected expenses. I had to cancel a China trip a couple of years ago and without travel insurance, I would have lost hundreds in deposits; with the travel insurance I was only out the small cost for the insurance.
Here are some examples of how you can use travel insurance (if ever needed) in Paris:
Say you are pickpocketed on the Metro, the travel insurance will refund you what you lost.
What happens if you slip while taking that perfect shot at Notre-Dame breaking your wrist, travel insurance will assist in refunding your medical costs and assist in getting you home for free (if needed).
Still have questions? Check out: World Nomads Travel Insurance
Additional Tips and Advice:
When looking for your accommodation, make sure it is within a short walk (less than 10 minutes) from the nearest metro stop. The metro will be your main mode of transportation while visiting Paris. So, having your accommodation close to a metro will make our stay more enjoyable. Check out the metro map and schedule
Avoid the following:
- Don’t stay outside the main 20 arrondissements. Why? You will be just to far from the center of Paris to enjoy what the city has to offer. You are moving more into the suburbs of Paris.
- Don’t stay at a hotel near the Charles-De-Gaulle or Orly: While a stay close to the airport may sound like a great idea, you are putting yourself just way too far outside the city to enjoy it. I would only recommend this if you have red-eye flight and only for one night.
- Don’t play around the Eiffel Tower: At first, the thought of staying near such a wonderful may seem appealing. You will pay the price for such a stay in a rather boring neighborhood that doesn’t have much to offer (my opinion). Remember, you can see the tower from all over Paris.
- Don’t stay in the city Times Square (aka: Champs-Elysees): It is filled with shops and tourist. This area is often noisy throughout the day and into the night.
All of these are my thoughts and opinions of my many visits to the great city. I am excited to learn your experiences of this city, another neighborhoods that I may still have missed, and other recommendations. Thanks for reading and sharing.